Clary hints at hospital needing more support

EMH CFO Kelly Cox gives the financial report at Tuesday night's authority meeting.
EMH CFO Kelly Cox gives the financial report at Tuesday night’s authority meeting.

CEO Brandon  Clary told Commission  Chairman Tommy Lyon as well as members of the hospital authority that Jefferson County had just authorized three mils of property tax to support their local hospital. Clary said the county was already giving $100,000 per month to the hospital to keep it operational. Clary also noted Cook County had agreed to build a new facility to replace an aging facility and expand services. Clary then said if the hospital was going to add services it must look at the facilities it has going forward.

The hospital saw an increase in adjusted (total) admissions, which is a trend CFO Kelly Cox said was continuing. She also said the hospital saw more commercial and Medicare patients than in the past.

Surgical patients continue to rise, primarily due to the addition of Lake Russell Specialty Clinic in the past year. The increase was almost double from 2016.

The increase in surgeries gave the hospital a 100 percent increase in surgical revenue for February 2017. Gross patient revenue for February was $2.8 million versus $2.4 million in 2016. Lab work and therapy also showed increased above 25 percent. Bad debt and charity is at $2.7 million. For February the hospital lost $237,000.

Sonya Elrod talked about the need for the hospital to conduct training and drills for active shooter incidents. Elrod talked about a number of active shooter incidents across the nation and gave statistical data on shootings which have occurred at a hospital. Elrod also talked about the need for employees to keep patients safe and developing a plan called “Run-Hide-Fight.” No specifics were given on that plan.

Nancy Seymour told those gathered the Elbert County Hospital Foundation, along with other community partners, have applied for a grant. The grant money would be used to develop a community healthcare plan for the county. Seymour said seven or eight different entities were in the group and that the plan would focus on obesity, alcoholism and teenage pregnancies. The plan would also look at the low income population so that everyone in the county receives quality healthcare.

Seymour also said the foundation had donated a stretcher to the imaging department, and also noted the annual Duck Derby would be held on May 6 and would offer food and other amenities for the public.

The hospital auxiliary donated 614 hours during the month of February 2017 and the gift shop raised $641.37 and the fundraiser took in $1,224.25.

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